Michael Vorenberg, an associate professor of history at Brown University, teaches courses on American legal history and the Civil War and Reconstruction. His first book, Final Freedom: The Civil War, the Abolition of Slavery, and the Thirteenth Amendment (2001), was a finalist for the Lincoln Prize. He is also the author of The Emancipation Proclamation: A Brief History with Documents (2009). He is working on two books: one on the end of the American Civil War and another on the impact of the Civil War on American nationalism and citizenship. He speaks widely on such topics as constitutional history, Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War, and emancipation.
2016-18 represents the 150th anniversary of the passage and ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment, perhaps the most important provision of the U.S. Constitution. My lecture discusses the historical origins of the measure and its evolution toward today.